I look on with love
Love for the object of scorn
Love for the broken fragments
Well, hello again... After such a long hiatus, I'm not even sure anyone is still here. That's okay. I've taken to screaming into the void these days. My kids rarely hear me, so it's also possible I only speak in supersonic decibels audible to dogs and dolphins only.
It's a shame I didn't think to begin writing again last year this time. What a year of posts that would have been! Between a pandemic and the losses we faced as a result, the racial strife that surfaced following the killing of George Floyd (though if we're honest it was last straw given the stream of names before him), the political polarization that has infiltrated our families and churches, the false narratives surrounding the presidential election, the failed insurrection to begin the new year, the rise and fall of Q and its lasting effects, the to mask or not to mask controversy that ought not be a controversy, and now Harry and Meghan spilling the tea like it's Boston Harbor, I could have written some things.
As it is, I'm exhausted just writing that list, which is NOT exhaustive. I've been doing a lot of reading, a lot of listening, a lot of learning, some complaining, all to seek to understand better the undercurrent of what is going on around us at this moment of history. We did not get here overnight, and we will not rise from what is hidden in the ashes without some hefty work. The question remains if people are willing to look at the charred remains to examine the wreckage that has been smoldering for longer than many of us have been alive.
Are we willing to examine truthfully how what once was has created what is now? Are we willing to endure some discomfort and listen to the experiences of those who have suffered and are still? Can we express our anger and indignation at the injustice of the past with a desire to heal without destruction?
These are the big questions for which I have no answers tonight. How is today different than a year ago? Will all these conversations we have had over this past year just be us screaming into the void, where nothing changes? Or can we find a way to walk through the rubble together to find a way forward that creates space and freedom for each of us? What does that take? I don't know.
I do know that far too often my days are tinged with sadness. I like to think it's because I asked Jesus to conform my heart to His. In reality, it is also likely because some days I lose hope that we will find a way out of this volatile place we are in right now. I am frustrated by the way people remain blind to what is in front of them, whatever their reasons may be. I am angered by polarized entrenchment that bastardizes the Gospel. So yes, my heart breaks for what breaks the heart of Christ. But also I am weary of our human nature and the losses we have endured.
I also know we must keep screaming. Or speaking at the very least since we are working on less noise around here. Whether I see the fruit of my effort or not, I have to remain faithful to the call God has placed on my heart to speak up for the oppressed, for the least. Matthew 25 gave me my first glimpse of Jesus. It's not going to let me off the hook now.
So we speak up for dignity where we can. We pour into people the goodness and mercy of Christ. We help one another see the beauty of blessing within the brokenness. We keep each other accountable and honest. We remain with each other as we muddle through these murky waters together. And we leave the rest to God.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot were to say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear were to say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-20